Praying for a new kitchen

2012-10-06T05:15:00Z Praying for a new kitchenJOE FERGUSON Sun Staff Reporter Arizona Daily Sun
October 06, 2012 5:15 am  • 

The silent concession known to those who strive to help the less fortunate is that the underlying need never goes away or takes a holiday.

Love and compassion drive countless volunteers at the Sunshine Rescue Mission every day, offering meals to the hungry and a warm, safe place to sleep for the homeless.

The human sprit renews the body, but the days are numbered for one nearly silent volunteer who has been central to the organization for the last 40 years.

The steel heart of the kitchen inside the Sunshine Rescue Mission can no longer be mended, said Executive Director Stephanie Boardman.

The mission is in desperate need of a new fire suppression system, she said, with staffers saying they have been scrounging the Internet for parts each time something breaks.

A generous donor from Phoenix has already offered to give the shelter most of the equipment necessary to retrofit the kitchen, but Boardman needs an estimated $33,735 to pay for construction workers as well as the remaining equipment required to pass safety inspections.

The shelter has a wealth of volunteers and food donations, but the cash is stretched thin between the four properties operated by the shelter.

On average, it costs Sunshine Rescue Mission roughly $14 apiece to provide a homeless man or woman a bed for the night.

The annual budget for the shelter is $560,000.

"We have equipment, we have a contractor, we just need the money for these brass tacks," she said.

Boardman says the city of Flagstaff has been very patient with the shelter, but emphasizes that the combination of open flame and grease from the hundreds of meals served daily make for a dangerous fire hazard.

In the last six months, the Sunshine Rescue Mission has served 28,066 meals to hungry men, women and, most importantly, children.

The kitchen opens every morning before dawn, said Ken Bates, the director for the Men's Mission.

It closes at 9 p.m. after serving three meals and opens the next morning, never taking a holiday.

Some nights, the line for meals pours out of the dining area and into the courtyard outside.

Boardman said about 72 percent of their donations come from individuals.

"We rely heavily on individual donors, and this is the time of year where we run really low right before Thanksgiving and Christmas" she said.

Those interested in donating to the Sunshine Rescue Mission are asked to call 774-3512.

Joe Ferguson can be reached at 556-2253 or

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. Ima Wonder
    Report Abuse
    Ima Wonder - October 06, 2012 3:16 pm
    Ann, You sound a little cynical about helping the Sunshine Rescue Mission. It has been in Flagstaff for many,many years and has helped so many people. I imagine it was here many years before you were. Why don't YOU INVESTIGATE THEM,and see the good they do. These are not good times,and America could probably use a lot more places like the Mission. God Bless You and all of America.
  2. AnnHeitland
    Report Abuse
    AnnHeitland - October 06, 2012 8:27 am
    Investigate before you donate.
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